Yesterday was one of our rare-for-this-year sunny and relatively calm days so when my son, Ben, got home from school, I asked him if he wanted to run out and try for some long range rockchucks. I was shocked when he said, "yes".
So, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, loaded up our stuff and headed out.
We don't have a ton of rockchucks in our area so we try not to take them too early and impact our populations too heavily. Our agreement this year was to not take any shots under 1000 yards until May. It tends to make it quite a bit easier on the resource if you know what I mean! We had made a couple of attempts this spring but hadn't connected.
We set up near the road in a spot we had shot earlier. Both of us shoot M700 .243AI's with eight-twist Kreiger barrels in A5 stocks. Ben's shooting 105 grain A-maxes and I shoot 105 gr Berger VLD's. We both had a pretty good idea of our drops from the previous trip so when Ben started shooting he was immediately putting rockchucks in danger at close to 1100 yards. Being the good dad I am (and, because I shot first on the last trip
), I spotted for him until he used up all his handloads. On one shot we both saw a rockchuck's head drop but it went out of sight so we couldn't confirm the kill.
It was getting late by the time Ben finished shooting and the rockchucks were starting to go down but we spotted quite a few rockchucks on another rim that was a little closer--only in the 1025 to 1050 yard range. I only had a 1000 yard trajectory chart taped to my rifle and the drops start to change pretty dramatically at that range so my first shot was about one and a half minutes low. A couple of adjustments got me dialed in for elevation but now the diurnals were battling the previous wind complicating the windage calls. Long story short, After several attempts, I center-massed a large 'chuck just as it was getting dark. We were able to drive to within 40 yards of the 'chuck for a hero shot then Ben headed to the other rim to check on his shot. Before I could get all my stuff together, I hear Ben hooping and doing a jig in the evening glow on the top of the other rim like a Neanderthal that just discovered psychodelic mushrooms. His 'chuck was confirmed as well!
Not exactly one shot, one kill sniper stuff but we'll take it!
Ben added his rockchuck to one he took last year at 1044 yards. This was my first 1000+ yard varmint. Gonna have to start shopping for a .338 Lapua now to go 1500 with!
My 1030 yard rockchuck.
Ben's 'chuck. Not bad for a sixteen year old kid.
Ben allowed as how it took a lot less skill to hit my rockchuck than his because mine was so much bigger...I'll give him that!